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Mystery Science Theater Creators Return, With Downloadable Snark

June 11th, 2007 by torgosPizza · 1 Comment

John Scott Lewinski / Wired
Eight years after Mystery Science Theater 3000 crashed to Earth, fans still mourn the demise of the series whose robot characters offered snarky running commentaries on some of the 20th century’s most mockable B movies.
Now fans can hear those caustic asides directed at a new crop of movies, with a pair of new ventures from the creators of MST3K. For $3, you can purchase an MST3K-style commentary for such recent disasters as Eragon or Terminator 3 from RiffTrax, a website run by MST3K star and head writer Mike Nelson.
The commentary track comes as an MP3 download that you manually sync up with your DVD’s audio. If you don’t have the doomed film on DVD, RiffTrax directs you to Netflix or various for-fee download sites.
According to Nelson, the time was right for RiffTrax, because audiences eye major releases with more caution now.
“People have been burned too many times in theaters,” Nelson said. “So, I’m feeling a little bit of optimism that movie fans are rejecting the same old films that Hollywood is telling them to like.”
He doesn’t hate Hollywood, Nelson insists. “I have no problem with big blockbusters. If they’re done well, I enjoy them. But the formula is so tired that they’re rarely done well anymore.”
In the years since MST3K, Nelson has remained in demand as a writer, providing funny commentary tracks on classic cult DVDs like House on Haunted Hill and Plan 9 From Outer Space for Legend Films.
Though Nelson did the first few RiffTrax commentaries himself, MST3K buddies Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) and Bill Corbett (Crow T. Robot) eventually co-starred on a few titles, although without the robot puppets they once used.
A complete reunion of the three-man crew followed soon after with the creation of a second venture, The Film Crew — a return to the trio’s classic cult film roots.
While RiffTrax takes aim at recent releases and provides just the commentary track, The Film Crew mines the last century’s clunkers for comedic material, re-releasing them on DVD with their usual smartass comments.
Over the next several months, Nelson, Murphy and Corbett will release special DVD editions of such forgettable fare as Killers From Space or Hollywood After Dark, complete with traditional MST3K dismantling.
Tom Servo and Crow, the wisecracking bots from MST3K, will not be returning to the screen. But the two men behind their voices, wit and personalities are back at Nelson’s side.

Tags: In the Media · RiffTrax

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Reuben Rives on Apr 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Hey, what happen to Video Cuts? = p